Updated July 14, 2006 - Joanne

Tips to make Vegetables appealing to Kids

If there’s a vegetable you or your child dislikes, keep in mind that there’s almost always a way to make it taste good (or great) to anyone; you just have to find or figure it out the trick. - Jack

Brussels Sprouts

At the farmers' market if you are lucky you can buy the sprouts still attached their stalk (it look s like a huge club). Choose stalks with lots small firm ones (when you squeeze them the feel hard) which look perfect. But keep in mind that imperfections on the outer leaves can get peeled off.

Cut the bottom white part off them (the stem end) and then peel away any loose leaves. Then cut them in half lengthwise. Prepare a stockpot of salted boiling water and an big bowl of water with ice. Plunge your sprouts into the boiling water and wait until they turn bright green and are slightly tender ( you can poke them or eat one) then with a strainer skim them out and plunge them into the cold water to stop them cooking.

From that bowl you can keep them in the fridge overnight, freeze them (haven’t tried this) or sauté them in butter until really tender and slightly browned. You can add bacon, caramelized nuts or shallots to make them more palatable to picky eaters.

Remember that Organic Farmers' Market vegetables almost always taste much better than Industrial produce. (Just how many gorgeous but tasteless supermarket strawberries do you have to eat before that sinks in?) - Jack


Lima Beans
If you can find fresh ones at the farmers market BUY BUY BUY! Feel the pods and try and get an idea of the size of the bean inside or open one (ask first!). It’s a lot of work shelling them so we usually buy medium to large ones as shelling is easier.

Once you have them shelled you can blanche them (see Brussels sprouts) or boil them until they are bright green and tender and cooked through – don’t over cook! They should be bright green. Serve with butter!

Cauliflower & Broccoli
If you hate the smell of cooking them try cooking them in a covered microwave container (we use plastic wrap and a glass bowl) with just the reside of water that stays on the vegetables when you wash them. For picky eaters try dressing them up with soy sauce, olive oil or a bit of both.

Asparagus
Roast them with a bit of olive oil in a hot (400 degree or higher) oven. For pickier eaters serve with butter melted with a bit of balsamic vinegar or lemon zest or soy sauce.

Swiss Chard
Try it in something. Steam or boil it like spinach (you’ll have it cook it a bit longer) then drain it well and add to pasta or eggs or any dish that you would spinach. Or make a Swiss Chard Gratin.

Beets
I still am not a fan of Red beets. But Chioggia (Striped), Golden and White beets can convert you to a beet lover. – Click here for a tip on cooking beets.




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